As noted in a study conducted by the international consulting firm A.T. Kearney, influencer marketing is the fastest growing part of online marketing. Additionally, influencer marketing is part of every second marketing campaign. But how can a brand make sure that influencer marketing is part of their marketing mix in an efficient way and how can you, as a company, choose the right social media channel for your influencer campaign?
Jan Homann, CEO at blogfoster GmbH and Victoria Chyba, Director of Client Services & Social at Initiative Media GmbH, gave answers to these and more questions regarding influencer marketing at Rock the Blog 2017 at CeBIT in Hanover.
As a brand, you want to make sure that your advertising is most effective and that your message will be delivered directly to the right audience. The more authentic a story is, the more attention will be drawn to your product. This is what influencer marketing has to offer. It allows you to place your product in a natural environment that is just as authentic as a recommendation from a close friend.
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Strategy over coincidence: influencer marketing takes it to the next level
If you compare a current average marketing strategy for a standard four week campaign (looking at the food sector for example) with one that’s been done before Social Media existed in 2003, you can tell that things have changed. While TV is still present as it is a crucial channel for the customer, the rest of the marketing channels became more fragmented and a lot more digital. 7% of the overall marketing budget is now spent on influencer marketing.
This means for an average campaign with a budget of 700.000€ in total, that 49.000€ is spent on influencer marketing. Victoria Chyba draws the conclusion that “Influencer marketing is growing up. The times where we approached a random blogger to ask them if they could write an article about us are over.”
It’s high time influencer marketing was treated professionally, as bloggers and influencers have become extremely professional. From a business perspective, you not only want to keep up with bloggers but want to run successful campaigns to get most out of your investment. Therefore, influencer marketing needs a strategic and well thought out approach.
To achieve this, it is NOT recommended to go for the first, biggest or newest option. Especially when it comes to choosing the right social channel for your influencer marketing campaign, a lot can be done wrong.
Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat? Which social channel is the best one for my social influencer campaign?
Influencer marketing can be performed on many different channels. This is great as it gives you various opportunities. You still want to make sure that your campaign will be as effective as possible. Therefore, a lot of preparation and research is inevitable.
In the first step, you have to set the goals you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign. What’s your communication objective? One goal influencer marketing is predestined for is word-of-mouth communication. The choice of the right influencer and social media channel should depend on your goals and preferred audience. The different channels attract different users and influencers in terms of age, interests and usage. In particular, social media and the different apps on the market are constantly changing. There are new channels popping up constantly and others close down or are not relevant anymore. Even the release of a new function of one app can change everything in the market overnight.
It is necessary to be aware of the distinctive features of the numerous social media channels before launching a social media campaign in order to know which one is the best for your objectives. Some criteria that should be taken into consideration: the situation the user is in when consuming the content (e.g. on the train to work, at home, etc.) but also which device they are using can be very revealing. For Instagram, we can take into account that it is most likely used on the phone and on the go, and the content is only noticed for seconds, whereas a blogpost will be read for longer than a minute and possibly on a mobile device or desktop.
To sum it up: There isn’t one overall best social media channel. Snapchat has had a lot of hype recently in social media marketing for being the next big thing, which might be true for some products targeted to a younger audience. There is doubt that a high class SUV can be advertised successfully via Snapchat, unless you have a really great concept on how to sell it to the very young users of Snapchat.
The big advantage of influencer marketing, in contrast to other marketing channels, is the immense potential in the Return of Investment (ROI). The ROI of a strategically well-conducted influencer marketing campaign can be two to eleven times higher than in conventional campaigns.
Outlook: future influencer marketing
Influencer marketing takes marketing to the next level. In two years at the latest, influencer marketing will be part of every single marketing strategy.
Different channels are not to be seen as isolated from one another. Each should be viewed as a piece of the puzzle, interconnected to benefit from each other and to achieve the best possible outcome.
More and more focus is moving from the big influencers to smaller influencers, the so-called micro-influencers. It won’t take long until everyone of us will be monetising our social media channels. Social reach will be the currency of the future and in 2020, it will be as normal to make money with our social profiles as it is to rent our apartment via Airbnb.